Duke Performances Announces Recipients of 2017/18 Curricular Awards

Duke Performances is pleased to announce the 2017/18 faculty recipients of its inaugural curriculum enrichment awards: Marcia Rego (Thompson Writing Program), Chris Sims (Center for Documentary Studies), and Laurent Dubois (History, Romance Studies). Rego and Sims’ awards are offered as part of a joint initiative between Duke Performances and the Duke Language, Arts & Media Program (LAMP), which supports faculty in teaching students to think critically across media and to conduct research in old and new media alike.

Each year, Duke Performances partners with more than 30 faculty across a range of departments and academic units to coordinate over 120 distinct artist residency events, including public conversations, class visits, and workshops. The curriculum enrichment awards reflect Duke Performances’ belief in the power of the arts to spur new ideas in the classroom while forging lasting interdisciplinary connections between a diverse set of campus partners.

This initiative also reflects Duke Performances’ commitment to supporting Duke instructors who seek to engage with the dynamics of live performance in their teaching — and with the themes, cultural traditions, and perspectives embodied in the work of visiting artists. These priorities are all fully on display in the courses offered by this year’s awardees.

In “Writing about Performance,” which will be offered for the first time in Fall 2017, Prof. Marcia Rego draws on her training in cultural anthropology, inviting students to explore the activity of performance both in the familiar sense — as a staged presentation of artistic material — and as a way of thinking about self-presentation and social ritual more generally.

Prof. Chris Sims, Director of Undergraduate Studies at CDS, took this opportunity to reimagine the assignment structure for “Traditions in Documentary Studies” (Spring 2018), a required course for the certificate in Documentary Studies. By asking students to attend and document live performances throughout the semester, Sims seeks to challenge their sense of what constitutes an appropriate subject for documentary, encouraging them to engage critically with subjects that already contain layers of production and curation.

Prof. Laurent Dubois’ Spring 2018 graduate course, “Black Atlantic,” reflects especially deep integration with Duke Performances programming, providing context for many of the performers and musical traditions represented in Duke Performances weeklong Black Atlantic festival, which runs from Monday, March 26 through Saturday March 31.

In addition to their attendance at performances, students enrolled in these classes will have the opportunity to interact directly with visiting artists through a series of regular class visits coordinated by Duke Performances and participating faculty.

“Duke Performances is thrilled with our inaugural class of curriculum enrichment awardees,” said executive director Aaron Greenwald. “We have grants going to two robust undergraduate survey courses — both requiring students to make a practice of deep watching and listening — as well as a graduate seminar built specifically around a cluster of Duke Performances’ programming focused on music of the African Diaspora. These grants provide means and impetus for faculty to make deeper, more deliberate engagement with Duke Performances for their students.”


About the Organizations

Duke Performances presents willfully eclectic, forward-thinking programming at a dozen venues on campus and in Durham. Through superb performances, outstanding visiting artist residencies, and the commissioning and development of exciting new work, the organization takes a leading role in the cultural life of the nation and encourages meaningful engagement with the Duke campus and Durham community. Duke Performances offers a robust season of 70-80 presentations spanning classical, new music, jazz, American vernacular music, international music, theater, and dance, while coordinating over 120 residency events, including class visits, workshops, and public conversations with over 40 campus partners annually. https://dukeperformances.duke.edu/

The Duke Language, Arts and Media Program (LAMP) is an undergraduate program focused on building strong, contemporary communication skills in students. While practice in conventional scholarly writing is still essential, today’s undergraduates must also develop skills in oral communication and be able to critically evaluate and compose in new media. LAMP supports undergraduate courses, faculty workshops, and programming that advance three main learning objectives: Research as critical evaluation across media; composing across media; and public engagement, including helping students to understand and gain practice in participatory citizenship through creating and sharing knowledge with publics beyond the classroom. http://sites.duke.edu/lampatduke/